Bath NHS walk-in centre set to close in Bath health shake-up
The NHS walk-in centre in Bath is set to close, with services being transferred to the Royal United Hospital.
The contract for the centre, which is at Riverside in James Street West, ends in April 2014, and the Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS B&NES have been considering what to do with the service.
Plans have been revealed to bring urgent care services together to make it simpler for patients to get the treatment they need, and to save public money.
The CCG is proposing to bring GPs and nursing staff services from the walk-in centre to the Royal United Hospital, where the GP out-of-hours emergency service will also be based.
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It is not clear if all the services will be transferred, or if some will be cut.
Chair of the CCG, Bath GP Dr Ian Orpen said: “Maintaining high quality care for patients is our top priority.
“We believe bringing these services together at the RUH’s emergency department will provide a much better service for local people.
“It will mean that for the first time a GP service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, and it will also lead to better access to hospital services if needed.”
He added: “The health centre at Riverside duplicates services provided by local GP surgeries and it is costing taxpayers a lot of money at a time when the NHS is becoming more and more stretched.
“The majority of people who use the centre already have a GP so in effect we are paying for the same service twice.”
As part of the review the CCG is also looking at improving services for patients at GP surgeries, including ensuring they stay open at lunchtime.
Dr Orpen said: “We want to ensure that telephones are answered promptly between 8am and 6.30pm, with no lunchtime closing.
“We also want GPs to visit patients at home when it is clinically needed, moving away from traditional home visits after morning or afternoon surgery.”